11 mustangs die in Nevada roundup, some with broken necks￼
RENO — Nearly a dozen wild horses have died in the first 10 days of a big mustang roundup in Nevada, deaths that a Las Vegas congresswoman is calling tragic proof of the urgent need to outlaw helicopters to capture the animals on federal land.
The 11 deaths so far include five young foals, four horses with broken necks and a stallion with a snapped rear leg that was chased by a helicopter and horseback rider as it tried to flee on three legs for 35 minutes before it was euthanized, according to witnesses.
The horse that broke the leg jumping over a trap fence last Wednesday was a lead Palomino stallion called “Mr. Sunshine” by those who’d watched him roam wild over the years southeast of Elko.
A longtime observer and defender of the mustangs caught the animal’s struggle on video.
“It made me physically ill to see what was done to that beautiful stallion I have known for years,” said Laura Leigh, the founder of Nevada-based nonprofit organization Wild Horse Education.
Leigh, who’s been fighting roundups in court for more than a decade and advocates ending them altogether, said the contracted wranglers were trying to pressure the mustangs into the temporary trap coral when the horse leaped out and broke the leg.